Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On Loss

Well, Slim died 2 weeks ago, so I guess I can swing a post-intense-grieving period post. It was interesting (not fun-interesting, just huh-interesting) to monitor my grief, since that doesn't happen often, and since I didn't really know how I'd respond. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't know if I'd immediately feel ok since it was his time, or what.

The first day was awful. I was a wreck. I felt nauseated and could cry at any mention. It's that time that I question why I'd want to go through something like that that's inevitable if I keep having pets. Lots of cliches. I felt guilty for killing him and guilty for any minute my mind was on anything else. And I felt bad not to be able to explain things to Denali. Then Day 2 (Thursday) was somewhat better. Still an awful funk, but not as acute. Going into the office the first day was hard, seeing pix I have of him there, but I could basically function. Then Friday it had settled down into just a sadness to be missing him. I showed my morning class pictures of him and could keep it together, although I was mildly choked up. Still, it was nice to show them why I'd missed class. I really like my students.

Those of us in New Orleans have all lost a lot, and there are more losses on the horizon. Even those of us who're fortunate not to have lost jobs or houses (there aren't many of us) have close friends who have, or we've lost friends themselves. Joe & Karen moved to Austin the day after Slim died, making that time even more bleak. Editor B has lost (at least for now) his beautiful cat Lucy, which sucks. And we've all lost the (relatively) easy life.

Some of us have lost spouses--people are throwing the term "Katrina divorces" around--and I know E and I have had our struggles. We've all lost some money, some piece of mind, what little faith we had in the good ol' US of A. We've lost some of our open-mindedness. Some friends are writing off anyone who leaves the city, but I kinda understand.

Still, it doesn't help that we seem to have lost our mayor.

It's just been tough, and many of us feel so uncertain about the future that we're constantly unsettled. This puts us all in a perma-funk, despite the wonderful actions of people we know.

I'm grateful that we're almost 6 weeks into hurricane season and--knock on wood--have not had much to worry about yet. It's still not the heat of the season, but we're grasping at any hopeful straws we can find.

For example, I've found Sudoku. Fun, that.

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